Cloud is a very simple moniker to operate under, but (bear with me) a little more consideration reveals that it could conceivably represent the many varied facets of Tyler Taormina’s music. At times, his work is light, airy, and almost amorphous as it floats along; on the flipside, it can also be opaque, deep, and even a bit dark in its own way. Though his latest EP, Patience Through the Storm, is only four tracks long, it manages to showcase all these different aspects of Cloud’s dreamy pop and leaves a strong impression of Taormina’s scope and talent.
Cloud is a project that began in Long Island during Taormina’s high school years, though he recently made the big move to Los Angeles. The transition is what inspired Cloud’s last release, his sophomore LP Zen Summer, and it continues to inform the themes in Storm. There’s a definite link between the two releases—Zen Summer, after all, only just came out this past April, two years after Cloud’s debut—but Storm feels like its own microcosm, with a very set progression that seems to serve as optimistic closure for Taormina and as a sort of comfort for the rest of us quarter-life-crisis sufferers.
“Patience Through the Storm” gives us a sense of this narrative with lyrics like “Now are you feeling bad? (Yeah, yeah) / No, it’s not that bad (Yeah, yeah).” But it’s a steady, moderately-paced song that feels like a nice little stroll down the block, and you can almost picture Taormina kicking up leaves and trying to keep his head up. The following song, “Trees All Right,” invokes images of a peaceful, sleepy meadow as we hear crickets chirping amongst the drowsy electronics and calming bass line, but an interesting bit at the very beginning of the song hints at something more menacing: thunder, in the distance. Taormina struggles with himself in this track, his vocals forming a call and response as he says “Lost in doubt / Been there / Tell me now / I know it all too well.” It’s certainly the highlight of the EP, featuring rich textures that make a lush bed for Taormina to lay down his internal conflicts.
There’s an obvious and very interesting push and pull between uneasiness and acceptance over the course of these four tracks. Taormina closes Patience Through the Storm with “Song for Campfire,” an acoustic reprise of Zen Summer's "Sunshine Psych" that’s almost saccharine in its hopefulness and encouragement. As youthful voices sing along, he repeatedly asserts, “You gotta make it work to make it work,” and at one point has everyone shout out “I’m alright!” It's a sweet closing for this EP, and for this chapter of Cloud.